LibriVox recording of Bible (DRV) Apocrypha/Deuterocanon: Wisdom of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) by Douay-Rheims Version (DRV).
Read in English by ancientchristian.
The Book of Ecclesiasticus is preceded by a prologue which professes to
be the work of the Greek translator of the original Hebrew and the
genuineness of which is undoubted. In this preface to his translation,
the writer describes how he was deeply impressed by the wisdom of the
sayings and so wished by his translation to place those valuable
teachings within the reach of anyone desiring to live in a more perfect
accord with the law of God. The fundamental thought of the author is
that of wisdom as understood and inculcated in inspired Hebrew
literature. The contents may be divided into two great parts: chs.
i-xlii, 14; and xlii, 15-1, 26. The sayings which chiefly make up the
first part, tend directly to inculcate the fear of God and the
fulfillment of His commands, wherein consists true wisdom. This they do
by pointing out, in a concrete manner, how the truly wise man shall
conduct himself in the manifold relationships of practical life.
Together with these maxims, which resemble closely both in matter and
form the Proverbs of Solomon, the first part includes several more or
less long descriptions of the origin and excellence of wisdom. The
contents of the second part, at first describe at length the Divine
wisdom so wonderfully displayed in the realm of nature (xlii, 15-xliii),
and next illustrate the practice of wisdom in the various walks of
life, as made known by the history of Israel's worthies, from Enoch down
to the high priest Simon, the writer's holy contemporary (xliv-1, 26).
At the close of the book, there is first, a short conclusion containing
the author's subscription and the express declaration of his general
purpose; and next, an appendix (li) in which the writer returns thanks
to God for His benefits, and especially for the gift of wisdom and to
which are subjoined in the Hebrew text recently discovered, a second
subscription and the following pious ejaculation: "Blessed be the name
of Yahweh from this time forth and for evermore." ( The Catholic
Encyclopedia (1909) - condensed by ancientchristian)
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